People are exposed to and understand brands more now than anytime in history. In tech B2B marketing, just as in the larger consumer market, brand association is subjective and much of the personal feeling about a brand comes from experiences of dealing with the company. As the visual representation of the company, the mark—or logo—has come to embody what that company does and how they conduct themselves.
That’s a big responsibility – is your mark up to the job?
A mark tries to visually represent the core of how that company sees itself and its place in the world: The logo is its voice and vision. It is then up to the products and actions of a company to make that mark ring true, to resonate and to create the subjectiveness that people will come to associate with it and the company.
The visual language of logos has a big impact on the viewer. And if that mark or shape represents your company, it flavors or colors every interaction with your customer. A good logo cannot make up for poor customer service, in fact it may give poor service a shorthand visual symbol. But a bad logo can bring a whole load of preconceptions to customer’s feelings about a company. A sloppy, awkward or dated look makes you wonder what else is the company being sloppy, awkward or out-of-touch about.
Visually, a lot of that feeling comes from the intangible. People can’t say why a flowing script creates a friendlier impression, but it can. A harsh and angular mark may be off-putting and may give you some reservation about dealing with a company.
Most business people are not comfortable expressing vague impressions, or don’t have the visual language vocabulary to express why a mark or symbol makes them react a certain way. This is even more so when a mark is new and hasn’t yet had associations and interactions to clarify what that mark means.
Here at McBru, we’ve helped tech B2B companies with branding, rebranding and logo development for many years, and building new visual identities for clients is some of the most rewarding work we do.
Within our creative department, we talk amongst ourselves about line and tone, typography, color theory, rhythm and contrast – all of the “mechanics” that make up a symbol. However, even though clients may be aware of how a mark feels, they usually can’t express it with the same terminology that designers do. That’s where the creative magic happens. It’s really alchemy – a bit of science and a smidge of art that is mixed and stirred until it is just right. And a portion of palmistry—we read between the lines and try to determine what people will be thinking and feeling when they experience the mark.
A lot of what a new brand will come to be is what you make of it. Starting out with your best possible mark makes that easier.